Weekend Report

The weather looks good going into the weekend. Temperatures have been starting in the mid-sixties in the morning, and ranging up toward 80 in the afternoon. The bird migration is slowing down or over, or else the birds are getting hard to see with the leaves fully on the trees. But there are still interesting birds turning up in the rare bird reports, including two Red Crossbills in Union County.

I’ve seen some laurel in bloom lately.

In terms of butterflies, we’ve seen one of the hairstreaks – I think the grey, but they can be hard to tell apart – defending it’s territory from other hairstreaks in the yard, which is mating behavior. We’ve also just started seeing the male Diana in the yard. That’s the big orange frittillary we see most often. The female is black, which is thought to be Batesian mimicry of a bad tasting swallowtail. Obviously, the males are less valuable, so they don’t have it.

I reported last week that the TVA scheduled a test of their warning system for dam emergencies. If they tested it, I didn’t hear it, and we live no more than two miles from Mineral Bluff. If anyone did hear it, please let me know. I’m guessing that either they didn’t test, or the sound doesn’t carry very far from the river.

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